The Mississippi State University Libraries seek innovative, dynamic, and team-oriented applicants for the position of Curator of Exhibits and Engagement in the Division of Archives & Special Collections. The successful candidate will play a key role in overseeing MSU Libraries’ exhibits and engaging in academic and community outreach.
This is a 12-month, full-time, tenure-track library faculty position, which reports directly to the Associate Dean for Archives & Special Collections. As a tenure-track faculty member, the Curator of Exhibits and Engagement will be expected to demonstrate engagement in the areas of librarianship, scholarship, and service as outlined in the Libraries’ Promotion & Tenure Policy.
A number of exciting changing and permanent exhibit spaces are housed in the Mitchell Memorial Library, which is the main library building and is centrally located on campus. The Mitchell Memorial Library contains multiple permanent museum spaces, including
• the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Museum, which displays original documents and artifacts through innovative, interactive exhibits on Grant’s life and times. The Grant Presidential Library is one of only six presidential libraries in the nation to be housed on a university campus. Plans are currently in the works for construction of an expanded facility for the Grant Presidential Library adjacent to campus (the Curator of Exhibits and Engagement will have a role in the development of those new exhibit spaces);
• the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana, a permanent museum space featuring items from one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive collections of materials relating to the 16th President;
• the Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Music Museum, which showcases an impressive collection of approximately 200 antique music players and 22,000 pieces of Ragtime-era sheet music;
• and the John Grisham Room, an event and meeting space that contains an exhibit area for display of memorabilia and other items from the Grisham Collection.
In addition to these museums are changing exhibit spaces on the 2nd floor of the building, as well as a separate changing exhibit space located in the Old Main Academic Center, which is overseen by the MSU Libraries.
Mississippi State University is a Carnegie Classification Research 1 institution located in Starkville, MS, a vibrant college community that is within driving distance of several major metropolitan areas in the Southeast.
Salary Grade: UC
For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.
The Mississippi State University Library system is comprised of six libraries that include the Mitchell Memorial Library, Bob and Kathy Luke Architecture, Art and Design Library, College of Veterinary Medicine Library, Phil Hardin Foundation Libraries on the Meridian Campus, and Gertrude C. Ford Foundation Library in Jackson, MS. The Mitchell Memorial Library houses the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana. For more information about the university libraries please visit http://lib.msstate.edu/.
Area of Specialization:
Curator of Exhibits & Engagement
Anticipated Appointment Date:
January 1, 2024
Tenure Track Status:
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Overseeing exhibit research, design, and content development
• Writing and editing interpretive text
• Collaborating closely with graphic designers to conceptualize, develop, and refine designs that align with library and MSU standards and branding
• Overseeing exhibit fabrication and installation
• Overseeing creation of digital exhibits
• Contributing to collection management practices to both preserve and make collections accessible
• Developing schedules for exhibits across the permanent and changing display spaces
• Contributing to promotional materials and programming related to exhibits
• Participating in regular duties such as working with classes and users in the reading room and in instruction sessions; assisting with public events; supervising student workers, interns, and volunteers; and similar activities
• Engaging in relevant research activities
• Serving on committees and being active professionally
• Master’s degree in library and information studies, museum studies, public history, or a related field
• Knowledge of professional museum standards and practices
• Curiosity/willingness to learn about the historical contexts of the various collections used for exhibits
• Must be detail oriented and have excellent communication skills (oral/written/interpersonal)
• Must have project management skills (organizing/planning/prioritizing/problem solving)
• Must be flexible and have the ability to successfully manage multiple tasks/projects simultaneously
• Must be able to work well with deadlines; work independently; and work collaboratively with diverse colleagues and stakeholders
• Teaching experience, exhibit design experience, or experience supervising students and volunteers
• Experience with digital photo editing and online exhibit software such as Omeka
• Experience with implementing accessibility standards
• Experience designing exhibits for diverse audiences
Instructions for Applying:
To be considered an applicant, you must apply online at Mississippi State University’s website and submit the following in order for your application to be complete:
1) cover letter addressing experience and qualifications (links to a brief portfolio or samples of previous exhibit design work should be included if available);
2) a curriculum vitae; and
3) the names and contact information including phone numbers of at least three (3) professional references.
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:
MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.
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